Nothing says winter holidays like a pine-themed drink. This one by bartender Carmen Polcyn at Chicago’s Bar Toma also utilizes cranberries and lemon, making it even more festive. Sip the nonalcoholic version all day, or make the cocktail at night for a cool, yet warming, seasonal tipple.
Add the bitters, lemon juice, pine syrup and cranberries to a shaker, and muddle the cranberries.
Add the gin or vodka (optional) and ice, and shake until chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass over ice, and top with the lemon-lime soda.
Garnish with 3 cranberries and a sprig of pine.
*Pine syrup: Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil until dissolved. Reduce heat to low, and add a handful of chopped pine needles. Stir and remove from heat, and let sit for 2 hours. Strain and refrigerate. Keeps up to 3 weeks.